Random Ephemera

5 Things Houstonians Experience When the Weather Gets Cold

Houston's weather is famously manic. One day might be warm and humid, the type of day which will make almost anyone wonder if the proper term for our local climate should be "swampy." But that won't work, because our weather can change within hours, and the next morning might present us with a dramatically different forecast.

While it doesn't happen often, sometimes, during this time of year, the mercury dips dramatically, and Houston is faced with its own version of a winter weather. Generally more of an Icy Slush Fest than a pretty example of a snowy "Winter Wonderland," but it's what we get on our coldest days.

It's during these almost always brief periods of frigid weather that many Houstonians encounter familiar but nearly forgotten cold weather scenarios. For instance:

5. Many of us Don't Really Have Cold Weather Clothing.

Or not much of it anyway. My current winter weather wardrobe consists of a handful of hoodies and one light jacket. I don't think I'm alone in this, judging from the other guys I see similarly dressed, scurrying as quickly as they can from their cars to whatever source of heat they're running for. It just doesn't usually get THAT cold here, so buying a few heavy coats just isn't on everyone's must do list. On the four or five truly cold days out of the year where it seems like your bones might freeze on the stiff legged run from the front door to your car, that lack of foresight becomes obvious. As a side note, some people don't have warm clothes because they don't have the money to buy them, so donating clothes to shelters is a kind thing to do.

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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.